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E-Commerce Times

Description : E-Commerce Times: the E-Business and Technology Super Site

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Verizon Supercookie to Let Advertisers Gorge on Customer Data

Verizon has announced it will begin sharing customer data with its AOL Advertising Network, triggering concerns about privacy and customer tracking. AOL will use Verizon's supercookie -- which is impossible to get rid of -- to track users."This is a huge privacy problem, but carriers have never really cared that much about customer satisfaction,"said tech analyst Rob Enderle.


Will Insider Trading Sideline Fantasy Sports?

The field of fantasy sports is faced with a fresh set of legal questions, following this week's allegations of insider trading on DraftKings and FanDuel. Having been validated by their skill component, fantasy sports have spilled across state lines and even into the world of collegiate athletics, a realm that has been closed to other forms of gambling.


At the Heart of OpenStack Evolution

There is little question regarding the prevalence and significance of open source software in enterprise IT, but one of the best places to more deeply examine how open source software fits into today's enterprise IT landscape is the OpenStack cloud software and project. It has come to represent the primary open source cloud in the market, considered alongside rivals such as Amazon and VMware.


Many Product Searchers Skip Google, Go Directly to Amazon

Amazon has become the first stop for nearly half of online shoppers researching potential purchases, according to a report BloomReach released Tuesday. Nearly half -- 44 percent -- of some 2,000 survey participants said they go directly to Amazon to search for products. That's a substantial increase from a similar survey Forrester Research conducted in 2012.


Leveraging Moments of Truth

eGain is touting a report from Forrester Consulting and my friend Ian Jacobs purporting to show that omnichannel customer service is stagnant or worse when it comes to delivering service that customers need and want. Ian does good work and I am in agreement with him on this, but I have trouble with some conclusions, specifically the implication that the problem can be solved with more software.


EU Data Transfer Ruling Leaves Tech Companies in Quandary

Europe's highest court has ruled that a 15-year-old agreement regulating electronic data transfers with the U.S. was invalid, potentially striking a blow to thousands of U.S. technology companies that rely on a uniform legal standard do business overseas. The European Court of Justice ruled that the U.S. Safe Harbor agreement was inadequate to protect the privacy rights of ordinary citizens.


Federal Cybersecurity Performance Gets Mixed Reviews

The spectacular database breach that affected nearly 21 million people highlighted the continuing vulnerability of U.S. government information technology systems, despite the expenditure of billions each year on cybersecurity. The breach resulted in the departure of the head of the agency and triggered widespread questioning about the adequacy of federal IT security by members of Congress.


Stop Competing on Price, Start Competing on Customer Experience

Target may be implementing price matching, but there are other ways to compete. Customer experience is the new battleground in retail sales, and winning this battle requires winning over customers with truly personalized service. Despite all the advancements in technology, personalized customer service and efforts to build customer loyalty have all but disappeared.


Can Jack Dorsey Save Twitter?

Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who has been running the company as interim CEO for the past three months, has taken the reins for good, the company revealed in a document filed with the SEC. Former CEO Dick Costolo has left Twitter's board of directors, and Adam Bain has stepped into the chief operating officer role. Dorsey will continue to lead Square, the mobile POS company he founded, as well.


Amazon Banishes Apple and Google Streamers

Amazon last week said it planned to stop selling streaming devices from rivals Apple and Google. A pillar of its Prime ecosystem, Prime Video, was incompatible with Apple TV and Google's Chromecast, the company suggested. It made the decision to"avoid customer confusion,"according to a company statement. Other devices with streaming capabilities would continue to be available, the company said.


3 Ways CRM Can Help Sales in the IoT Era

It's becoming increasingly clear that the nature of the sales profession is changing.Salespeople are no longer the ones who introduce products to their customers -- in most cases, especially in business-to-business settings, customers have done a lot of research on their own and are close to a decision before they talk to a salesperson. This trend has some people in sales panicked.


The Sluggish Crawl to Chip-Secured Shopping

For retailers that do not yet accept EMV cards -- credit and debit cards with chips embedded in them -- a spine-tingling deadline arrived last week. Liability for any payment fraud that results from acceptance of old-school plastic shifted to them. The magnetic chips in EMV cards will reduce in-store payment fraud, which affected 62 percent of companies, according to a recent survey.


Microsoft and Google End Hostilities, Partner Up

There's strong, scientifically verifiable evidence indicating Microsoft's move to join the rest of the tech world in open source and collaboration was propelled by a compelling force: the Nadella effect. Since taking the company's helm, CEO Satya Nadella's message has been one of collaboration, and meeting consumers on their terms. For example, Microsoft pushed Office 365 to all major platforms.


Benioff Flees Facebook in Search of Peace

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has quit Facebook and shut down his account, sparking speculation as to his motives. Is Salesforce at odds with Facebook? Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg no longer Benioff's BFF? Is Salesforce planning something with Twitter?"I'm on a FB pause,"Benioff posted on Robert Scoble's Twitter account, in response to his query."It was too overwhelming to keep up to date."


Cloud Consulting Acquisitions Accelerate

The recent flurry of consulting company acquisitions focused on cloud computing is another clear indication of the accelerating shift of IT systems and enterprise applications to Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service alternatives. IT and business decision-makers are no longer asking why they should move to the cloud.


Microsoft Pushes Deeper Into Linux, Containers, IoT

Microsoft announced a slew of corporate cloud solutions at Tuesday's AzureCon."The value for IoT is in control, data collection and analysis, and Microsoft is apparently building a cloud service that can do all three, and wrapping it with enterprise-level security,"said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. Microsoft also announced a new open Azure Container Service.


Warning: Think Twice Before Updating to iOS 9

Apple, you insensitive scoundrel, you made my bride cry. It wasn't tears of joy over your great technology, either. It was because you caused the loss of countless personal photos and memories, and all sorts of other personal information that we can never get back again. It's all because you simply didn't warn users not to upgrade to iOS 9 until the bugs were worked out.


Flights of Fancy: The Multibillion-Dollar World of Fantasy Sports

Americans are expected to spend $4.6 billion on fantasy sports this year, while vying for a payout of around $107 -- the average prize for winning the biggest fantasy league games, according to American Express. Driving that spending and risk taking are a passion for sports, the promise of purses, the push of new platforms, and the pull of camaraderie.


Amazon Flexes Its Muscles in Crowdsourced Delivery Space

Amazon has entered the on-demand delivery space in its hometown of Seattle, where independent workers are delivering orders within two hours or less. Under its new Amazon Flex program, the company pays workers between $18 and $25 per hour to deliver packages to Prime Now customers, said company spokesperson Kelly Cheeseman. The service is available only in Seattle for now.


Sprint Bets Its Spectrum Will Suffice

Instead of bidding for the low-band spectrum that will be on offer, Sprint -- which is running neck-and-neck with T-Mobile, the self-styled"Un-Carrier"-- will focus on improving its network. It could be the last low-band auction the industry sees for decades, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said this summer. Up for grabs at the next auction are 600-MHz bands.


Vertical Ventures

I'm always looking for emerging trends at Dreamforce, the kinds of things that are hiding in plain sight. They might never amount to much, but given that it's Dreamforce, many likely will bloom. A case in point is the emergence of vertical market CRM. Its time is now because application development tools have become so good, and because customers need fast, budget-friendly deployments.


BlackBerry Sees the Android Light

BlackBerry on Friday announced that it would introduce an Android smartphone later this year. The announcement came during the company's Q2 earnings call. The device will be known as the"Priv"and will be built around user privacy, said CEO John Chen. BlackBerry didn't offer any specifics about the Priv beyond the name -- nothing about pricing, U.S. carrier partners or any handset specs.


OPM's Latest Bad News: 5.6 Million Fingerprints Lifted

The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday revealed that the hackers who penetrated its records system stole 5.6 million fingerprints of federal employees -- five times the 1.1 million originally reported. The cyberattack, which came to light this spring, compromised the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information of 21.5 million people.


Volkswagen's Fines - Billions; Lost Customer Loyalty - Incalculable

There's a rough road ahead for consumers strapped into Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars kitted out with software to fool emissions testing. Many of VW's loyal customers feel let down and even duped, said Agnes Huff, CEO of the Agnes Huff Communications Group. Many of them now question the brand's overall integrity."Regaining customer trust will be an ongoing challenge."


Gmail Blocking Tools Narrow Email Marketing Channel

Google on Tuesday announced new block and unsubscribe features for Gmail that will make it easier for users to manage their in-boxes and harder for marketers to creep out of the spam folder."Sometimes you get mail from someone who's really disruptive,"said Sri Harsha Somanchi, product manager at Google. When that happens,"you should be able to say, 'Never see messages from this person again."


When Will Siri, Cortana and Google Now Get Smart?

Microsoft's Cortana and Google Now seems very cool -- talking to a computer and having it talk back. It should be like talking to the computer on Star Trek's starship Enterprise. If the technology worked well, these digital assistants could be game-changing. Unfortunately, it doesn't -- not yet, anyway. In the wonderful world of technology, we often get way ahead of ourselves.


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